El León Literary Arts
Publication Date: 2016, 2017
6 x 9 inches
128 Pages / Fiction
Recipient of an Elliott Cades Award for Literature, Pat Matsueda is the author of Stray (Manoa Books/El León Literary Arts, 2006) and the coeditor, with Sheyene Foster Heller, of Ms. Aligned: Women Writing About Men. Since 1992, she has been the managing editor of Manoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing.
"Complex, in moments dark and in others wonderfully hopeful, Pat Matsueda’s novella Bedeviled is, at its heart, about the struggle to forgive the self. When Ted Koga’s addiction is outed and his career threatened, he tries to root out the evil in his life, not understanding just how deeply past betrayals, resentments, anger, and hurt can burrow, and how difficult it is to escape old patterns. Bedeviled asks essential questions: How do we process hurt? How do we forgive wrongdoing? And how do we heal, with—or without—the support of our families? Through her carefully crafted characters, Matsueda makes these philosophical questions powerfully real, and though she resists easy answers, her novella offers a sense of hope and vision."
"Bedeviled digs deeply into the emotional costs of addiction—sexual and substance—through the story of a family that self-destructs and then quietly stitches itself back together. With an empathetic eye, Matsueda explores addiction’s roots in abuse and loneliness, and demonstrates how confronting pain—and making oneself vulnerable to love—can be a way to freedom. A dark, moving, and, ultimately, hopeful story."
"Resonant and true to place, Pat Matsueda’s mesmerizing novella offers a glimpse into the unraveling of one man’s life, along with a close look at a Hawaii few outsiders know. Matsueda is a master wordsmith."
"Bedeviled is a beautiful metaphor, surprising, riveting, and honest. Within its pages, Internet porn and the floating world seem made for each other, and are grounded in the human heart. The prose is spare and searching; the overall effect is luminous."
"Told with charity, clarity, and insight, this story of an unassuming Everyman who has tried—and failed—to 'lead his life by the book' is a compelling and touching read. I loved Bedeviled and hope it finds a wide readership."
"Bedeviled is a journey into the dark recess of the human soul—and the light that glimmers there. It is a story of pain and loneliness, but also a guide to healing and rejuvenation. Ultimately, it is a testament to the power of compassion in our most difficult moments."